Pricing error costs Merrill LynchMerrill Lynch & Co. said...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 23, 1993

Pricing error costs Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch & Co. said it will pay investors about $10 million to $15 million, plus interest, for a pricing error in sales of unit investment trusts, under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The nation's biggest securities firm said the inadvertent error occurred between 1972 and 1987. The error caused Merrill to underpay sellers of the unit investment trusts, called UITs, and undercharge buyers of the securities, the firm said. The error was involved in trading the units, not in their original sales, Merrill said.

Profits dip for American Express

Travel and financial services giant American Express Co. yesterday reported lower profits, stemming largely from a $630 million charge due to the pending sale of its Shearson Lehman Bros. businesses.

In the first quarter, American Express posted net income of $243 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $274 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago.

Salomon reports quarterly loss

Salomon Inc. reported a first-quarter loss of more than $100 million yesterday, due largely to bad trading decisions by its brokerage unit.

The net loss, magnified by a $37 million charge for an accounting change, amounted to $102 million, or $1.10 a share. It was a sharp departure from the profit of $190 million, or $1.51 a share, posted a year earlier.

Legg Mason offering commenced

Legg Mason Inc. said yesterday that it commenced an offering of $60 million worth of 5.25 percent convertible subordinated debentures that will mature in 2003. The price for conversion into Legg Mason common stock is $32.25 per share.

BAI Aerosystems buys H-Cubed

BAI Aerosystems Inc., an Easton-based company that produces unmanned aircraft for military surveillance flights, has acquired H-Cubed Corp. in Columbia. The price was not disclosed.

H-Cubed was founded by Maynard Hill, who developed BAI's delta-winged family of aircraft while at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Shipping service picks Baltimore

A joint shipping service between Transroll Navegacao SA of Rio de Janeiro and Sea-Land Service Inc. of New Jersey will use Baltimore as its only mid-Atlantic port of call for a biweekly container service between the U.S. and the East Coast of South America.

The joint service previously had called Norfolk in addition to Baltimore. Baltimore will now receive the cargo that had moved through Norfolk.

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